“-Re” House together with “-Re” Adapt are two series part of a project in which I review, refine and redesign residential projects available on the Dutch housing market. “-Re” House touches projects that have been completed after the year 2000 and could have been done more efficiently to begin with, while “-Re” Adapt looks at how to better adapt older residential architecture that was designed in a different cultural and historical context.
Yeap. This happened. Not really sure why, though. It is part of the first series of constructions that created the young neighborhood it resides in. It is not an old quirky little thing, so… huh?!
I know, “huh?” sounds very intellectual…right? But that should convey the level of confusion this layout creates.
• Completed: 2005
• Let’s start from the bottom and work our way to the top. I don’t have much to comment about the ground floor. The toilet doesn’t have a window because of the neighbor’s shed, but hey, it is not the end of the world.
• Ah… the first floor. The amazing first floor with its pretty kitchen, generously positioned in the back of the room, and no space what so ever for a proper couch and its usual TV…
Where do you put a table? How do you move around it? No matter where you put the couch and the TV, you’ll be bound to walk in between them and annoy the living daylight of who ever is watching the football match.
• We’ll finish gloriously with the top floor, where the “good stuff” is. Really? Who thought it was a good idea to have to walk through the master bedroom in order to reach the bathroom and the laundry room. Your bedroom is supposed to be the quiet place where you can finally breathe and no one asks anything of you.
But here, your kids will go by the foot of the bed on their way to the bathroom. Your teenager will remember to do a laundry run and 11 pm when you can barely keep your eyes open and can’t feel your feet. Your screaming teenagers will fight over the bathroom to get ready for a party. Your intimate time will be severely diminished, put on a schedule, and a lock will become your best friend.
And to top it all off, in that weird layout where the most sane place to place the bed is on the wall with the two windows, the other side houses a tiny itsy bitsy window.
So, you’re lying in bed, ready to open your eyes and take over the world. And then you do! And you see a puny window in the middle of a big wall. You don’t get to see the world, the sun, the trees. You don’t get to take in the word! Nope! You see the saddest window ever! At least if it was a plain wall you could put a painting, a TV or a nice wall paper. Yeap…
Though, it might be very possible that the saddest window ever, it may have been well though through in order to match a cheap and depressing bathroom. If you haven’t noticed, that is an open shower. No curtain, no railing, no glass walls, nothing. Just a shower on a tiled wall…
• Oh! And if you have an infant or a small child, just don’t buy this house! Or maybe if you’re training for a triathlon…
So what did I do?
• I started from the top and I gave back the master bedroom its dignity and its well deserved privacy.
• I moved one floor down and created a nice place to sit down, have guests and watch TV.
I splurged and added a sexy barbecue to make everybody gasp for air when stepping onto the terrace. And made space for a dining table.
• I finished with small changes to the ground floor as due to the neighboring house, there were not that many available options.